WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Page 95 of 211

All Cemeteries Tell Tales Native American Indian Cemetery, South Natick Center Chances are, you have passed the intersec- tion of Route 16 and Pleasant Street in South Natick center without ever knowing you were driving over an Indian burial ground. It is, after all, a paved thoroughfare. It is also on the Indian trail, now known as HOW TO GET THERE To visit the cemeteries mentioned in the article, follow the directions below. The starting point for all is the intersection of Weston Road and Washington Street (Route 16), Wellesley. ^ Native American Gravesites, South Natick Center South Natick Center is at the intersection of Eliot St. (Route 16) with Pleasant Street on the left and Union Street on the right. To arrive there, drive west on Route 16 for 1.8 miles. A plaque tes- tifying to the graveyard lies on the southeast corner of the Bacon Library grounds. The historical society is located in the library's basement. ^ Clara Barton and Reformatory graveyards Drive west on Route 16 for 5.1 miles to Route 27. Turn right. Take the first left onto Hunting Lane. After 1.5 miles bear right on Perry Street. The cemeteries are one-tenth of a mile farther and easy to miss. If you see a stone wall with an old graveyard behind it dotted with American flags, you've gone too far. ^ Medfield State Cemetery This one is somewhat tricky to find. Drive west on Route 16 for 5.1 miles to Route 27. Turn left. Go four-tenths of a mile and bear left to continue on Route 27. Proceed another 2.75 miles, pass- ing over the Charles River to the border of Medfield, and slow down. On the left is a break in the guard rail, with space for one car just beyond it. Park there. You will notice a small water relay building off to the left. The sign identifying the graveyard can only be seen and read if you approach from the west. Once you park, you will see a narrow dirt path ahead. It leads to the graveyard, which is only about 25 to 40 feet ahead, but not visible until you are nearly there. 94 Washington Street, that led from what is now Wellesley to a village of Christian praying Indians who settled on land granted them by the colonials around 1650. Despite their cooperation with the British, the Natick tribe, along with all other natives the British could round up, was moved to the Boston Harbor islands during the 1675 King Philip War. Decimated by starvation and disease, only a fraction lived to return. A plaque at the corner of the Bacon library grounds notes that the Indian burial grounds stretches under the library's lawns and reaches all the way to the nearby intersection. If that fact has since been forgotten, we know it was known in 1780. In William Biglow's History of Natick, written in 1830, Biglow claims that old people told him 50 years ear- lier [1780] that skeletal remains had fre- quently been disturbed. "Many have been disinterred in digging graves for others [pre- sumably, other Native Americans], in pro - curing sand for mason's work, or moving gravel for repairing highways. In two or three instances black and white beads called wampum have been found, a small junk bot- WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012

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